Gogolewo – a village located 4 kilometers north of Książ Wielkopolski. Its name comes from the common goldeneye, a duck known in Polish as gągoł or gogol. This shows the village was surrounded by old deciduous forests since this particular species of duck nests in tree hollows, provided that nothing disturbs the bird’s privacy. Beyond all doubt, such tranquility could be found in the vicinity of Gogolewo. Forests, however mostly coniferous, have survived until today, bringing us the irreplaceable serenity. Gogolewo was mentioned for the first time in 1149, when the village was handed by Sędziwoj to the monks of St. Vincent in Wrocław. This is also one of the very first documented appearances of settlements in the vicinity of Śrem, in general. In later centuries, Gogolewo was inherited by the old line of Doliwa from Rozdrażew. One of the representatives of this family, signed as Paszek from Gogolewo, held the function of the Kalisz chamberlain and was later appointed to office as the judge in Poznań. Between 1392 and 1425, he owned Gogolewo, Lutogniew, Rozdrażew, and Kępa. Paszek constructed the first church in Gogolewo, entrusting the temple to the care of Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Stanislaus. The temple was consecrated on October 23rd, 1390. For the next two centuries, until 1640, Gogolewo was owned by the Rozdrażewski family – Jarosław, Jan, Wacław, and their descendants. Then, the village was consecutively owned by the families of Mieliński, Cielecki, Grzymułtowski, and Grabowski, from whom the estate was purchased in the mid-18th century by Ludwik Skrzetuski, the son of Mateusz and Dorota Korzbok Zawadzka. In 1777, a lightning struck the church in Gogolewo, starting a fire that consumed its construction. Two years later, in 1779, the new wooden baroque church was erected, and it has survived to our times. It was constructed on a small hill next to the winding Warta river, near the spot where, according to the legend, the Holy Cross that was being carried by the river against the tide came to a stop. This incident was interpreted as a sign from God and made the locals muster up the energy to erect a temple. It was decided that in remembrance of this miracle the local church should function under the invocation of the Feast of Cross. In the turbulent times of the 19th century, after the partitioning of Poland, people flocked to this very temple, for the liturgy was celebrated and sacraments were given by Polish priests. It hence turned into a place of pilgrimage for those whose hearts still pumped the Polish blood, no matter how long a travel it was for them. The temple became a local cradle of Polishness. This was impossible in other parishes since Prussian authorities usually appointed German clergymen as parish-priests. One of the founders of the German Eastern Marches Society, also known as Hakata, a radical organization aimed at destructing the Polish national identity, was Hermann von Kennemann, who owned the nearby estate in Klęka. Today, the renovated church still attracts large numbers of pilgrims. Another point of interest within the village is the historic manor house, an example of the Polish neoclassical architecture, erected on a rectangular plan in the late 18th century. A one-story high building is seated on a beautiful barrel-vaulted basement (the house has a partial basement extending under 3/4 of the floor area) and covered with a high nosing roof spread over the attic. The front door is embellished with a four-column portico crowned with a triangular tympanum. Originally, the manor’s driveway and entrance faced the south, leading through the folwark’s courtyard. The manor was remodeled in the mid-19th century to separate farm buildings from the landowner’s residence, following the general trend for such alterations. The complex includes a rather compact park with a couple of centuries-old trees (common ash, champion oak, pedunculate oak) and a gorgeous branching small-leaved linden that grows near the house. In 2014, the manor was purchased by Anna and Jarosław Sobkowiak. The building is currently undergoing a complete overhaul in order to restore its former glory, both inside and on the outside, and open its doors to those who seek refuge from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Paweł Walkowiak